PRLog - Feb. 8, 2012 - NEW YORK -- With all of the hubbub around Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday this Tuesday, many seem to have forgotten the great author’s Valentine’s visit to America 160 years ago. On Valentines Day in 1842, New York welcomed Charles Dickens and his wife with a 3,000 person gala festival at the Park Theatre dubbed “The Boz Ball” (Boz being the popular nickname for Dickens). There, New York’s best caterer at the time, Thomas Downing, an African-American also known as “the great man of oysters,” served a massive feast to the fans of Dickens, including “10,000 sandwiches, 40 hams, 76 tongues, 50 rounds of beef, 50 jellied turkeys, 50 pairs of chickens and 25 of ducks; also 2,000 fried Mutton Chops—cold and 12 Floating Swans, a new device.”
A Christmas Dinner
Today, Dickens’ influence lingers in America, as the flurry of recent press proves. Red Rock Press would like to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of this literary giant with an authentic 19th-century recipe for Charles Dickens’ Punch (as well as an updated recipe for the modern cook). The recipe is guaranteed to warm you through the winter cold and comes from Red Rock Press’ “A Christmas Dinner” by Charles Dickens with Peter Ackroyd & Alice Ross (http://www.ADickensChristmas.com) – it was originally featured in The Dickensian I, (18 January, 1847). Alice Ross, a culinary historian, recreated the original recipe using authentic 19th-century cooking implements and then crafted a recipe for modern cooks to closely match the dish as it was enjoyed by Dickens himself.
To learn more about “A Christmas Dinner” by Charles Dickens with Peter Ackroyd & Alice Ross and to find other authentic recipes from the 19th century, and to pick it up at any amazing 40% discount for $15, please visit http://www.ADickensChristmas.com or contact Red Rock Press at 212-362-8304 or Daniel@RedRockPress.com.
Charles Dickens’ Punch (Original Recipe)
Juice and thinly peeled rind of 3 lemons; 2 good handfuls of lump sugar; 1 quart boiling water; 1 pt. old rum; 1 or 2 large wineglasses brandy.
-from The Dickensian I, (18 January, 1847)
Brandy Punch (Updated for the Modern Cook)
1 cup sugar
1 quart boiling water
1 pint of aged rum
6-7 ounces brandy
A large chunk of ice
Thinly peel off zest of the lemons and squeeze out their juice. Place juice and zest in punch bowl.
Add boiling water, sugar, rum and brandy, and stir for a minute.
Add a large chunk of ice to the bowl.
Serve well-chilled by the dipper-full.